Sapa, Vietnam is way cheaper than Hanoi. If we were paying for $4.5/per person in a ten-bed dorm room in Hanoi, we just paid for $5 ($2.5/person) for a big room with two beds, private toilet and bath and our own balcony in Sapa. The room is overlooking the park and there’s free wifi and hot water too.
Anyway, here’s a summary of how much I spent in Sapa.
|Bus from Lao Cai to Sapa (50K/Person)||50,000|
|Food and Drinks||212000|
|Hostel (First 2 days paid in $)||$5|
|Hostel (Remaining 3 nights paid in Dong)||157500|
|Bus Ticket to Dien Bien Phu||240000|
|entrance Ticket to Cat Cat Village||30000|
|Subtotal in Dong/ $||707,500||$7|
Exchange rate is calculated as of the time of writing (May 22,2011) using XE.com. My total expense for Vietnam (10 Nights in Hanoi and 5 Nights in Sapa) would then total up to $134.68 (excluding the travel to Luang Prabang from Dien Bien Phu).
Bear in mind that the cost of train from Hanoi to Lao Cai is already included in my expense report for Hanoi. We also didn’t pay for any motorbike rides since we just walked from Sapa town to Cat Cat Village. The cost of overland border crossing from Dien Bien Phu to Luang Prabang will be included in my expense report for Luang Prabang.
Food is typically bread, noodles, fried rice and biscuits. We always buy the 5L water instead of 1.5L. We calculated that we get more for less price if we buy the bigger bottle.
This is the best deal so far (aside from El Nido). We just paid $2.5/person/night for a huge room with two beds, private bath and a balcony overlooking the park n Camelia Hostel. Isn’t it great? I heard that there are cheaper rooms out there but we didn’t see one though.
Bear in mind that we also travelled in Sapa during the low season and prices would definitely be higher if you go there on high season. Your budget needs to be higher if you want to go to other villages and if you want to hire tour guides and if you shop a lot as well.
If you also noticed, there’s no laundry cost included since we started washing our own clothes to save a few more dollars.
In case you have allotted some of your budget for shopping some souvenirs, I highly encourage you to buy directly from the Hmong. The money would go directly to them and will help them purchase some of their basic needs.
“Travelling does not need to be expensive.”